Christian Science Monitor's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 3,650 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Planner
Score distribution:
3,650 movie reviews
  1. By showing scenes of torture without taking any kind of moral (as opposed to tactical) stand on what we are seeing, Bigelow has made an amoral movie – which is, I would argue, an unconscionable approach to this material.
  2. Add a lot of dull acting -- except Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis -- and you have an uneven movie with yawns aplenty.
  3. Too much repetition and an unconvincing finale take a toll on the film's overall effectiveness.
  4. I don’t get the enthusiasm for this movie, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, which is such a cooked-up piece of claptrap that I half expected Darth Vader to pick up the baton. We’re supposed to think that Terence’s tough love is more “honest” than the usual pussyfooting tutelage, but in any sane society this guy would have been brought up on charges long ago.
  5. A movie with ambitions as high-flying as its superhero but a success rate decidedly lower to the ground.
  6. This romantic farce has a talented cast and energy to spare, but somehow the ingredients don't burn as brightly as one would expect from such promising ingredients.
  7. The first half is full of verbal and visual surprises, but the later scenes are talky and dull, as if filmmaker Steven Soderbergh had lost interest in his subject and his characters. Which would be understandable, since the story often seems more calculated than heartfelt. [4 Aug 1989, Arts, p.10]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  8. Is this misogyny, as some insist, or a critique of misogyny, as others say? Many moviegoers, grossed out by the film's gothic approach to medical matters, won't watch long enough to find out which is the answer. [30 Sept 1988]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  9. The melancholy in this film is just as trumped up as the frenzy.
  10. The endangered swampland dwellers are supposed to be an indigenous pastoral community threatened by eco-unfriendly oil refineries. I kept rooting for Hushpuppy and Co. to leave behind their squalor and relocate. This is not the politically correct response.
  11. Heavily influenced by Quentin Tarantino's brand of quirky sensationalism, this high-energy saga by Paul Thomas Anderson goes a long way toward exposing the greed and stupidity of the pornography trade, then loses its moral compass and steers toward a sadly superficial ending.
  12. Much of the action seems more like warmed-over Quentin Tarantino than first-rate Steven Soderbergh.
  13. I'd be more inclined to call this French dysfunctional family epic gabby and preeningly self-indulgent – in a word, annoying.
  14. Ballast lacks ballast. Much praised by aficionados of minimalist indie cinema – hey, who needs a plot when you've got mood? – it's a wearying slog through anomie in a Mississippi Delta township.
  15. The overall effect is about the same -- slow start, then escalating suspense and violence. Today's shock-movie fans will enjoy shrieking at it, and others should skip it. In space, no one can hear you ask for your money back.
  16. Their 40-year marriage seems like more of a trial than this overweening, lightly likable movie acknowledges.
  17. Broderick and Witherspoon give perfectly matched performances at the head of a first-rate cast.
  18. This is the ultimate Woo movie, but while his fans will enjoy every minute, others will find it too long, repetitive, and violent.
  19. This hugely popular horror yarn is less a cleverly spun story than a disjointed collection of shockeroos, surrounding a few ghoulishly effective moments with overcooked plot twists and in-your-face vulgarity.
  20. As gorgeous as it is to watch, Winged Migration suffers from a lack of organization.
  21. It’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie with a PhD. Or maybe an MA.
  22. Russell's stylish and imaginative filmmaking wages its own war against lunkheaded and sometimes offensive material.
  23. The first half is a well-acted psychological drama, but the second half is standard thriller fare with more action than insight.
  24. The trouble with Chicago is the sense it conveys that nothing is really at stake -- there's no moral or ethical question that can't be turned into toe-tapping fun.
  25. The film's time structure is splintered into shards of past and present, which is probably just as well – a strictly narrative chronology would make this wallow seem even sloggier.
  26. For an ostensibly soul-deep movie like this to work, we need more than smirks and scowls.
  27. The movie would be better as a 30-minute short, though, since its shaky camera work and fuzzy images get monotonous after a while, and there's not much room for character development within the very limited plot.
  28. Although it has a good heart and a warm spirit, this prettily filmed drama is more sentimental and manipulative than earlier Iranian films on youth-related subjects.
  29. There are a few hilarious moments, and a few more that are foolish and even disgusting. [15 July 1988, Art and Leisure, p.21]
    • Christian Science Monitor
  30. Kenneth Branagh overplays his portrayal of Neville, but most of the other characters are skillfully acted by a solid cast, including the great Aborigine actor David Gulpilil as the tracker. In all, this is a watchable movie that's not quite the memorable experience it might have been.

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